Priscilla (Fink, Newberry) Crawford

This is all I have about Priscilla, born Priscilla Newberry. It is a delight to finally have a picture of her! (see right). She married twice, briefly to a Fink and a bit longer to John Crawford. She was the grandmother of my great-grandmother Blanche Alice Renfrow, and hers is the mtDNA line for 3 of my father's sisters.

Newberry (Newbury) Family History

From 1880 Census info I had the USA states where Priscilla's parents were born. In the Brown Co. OHIO Census for 1850, the only Newbury (Newberry) matching family that are right age (old enough but not too old) to be Priscilla's parents and have the right birth states, are Elias Newbury (4 Apr 1794 NJ-9 Jun 1878 Wood OH) who marr. 18 Mar 1819 in Clermont OH to Nancy Henderson (19 May 1800 VA-7 Sep 1883 Wood OH). They are also listed by a few family trees on as having a daughter named Priscilla with the right birthdate. I haven't been able to get hold of the people with that tree info to verify how they knew Priscilla's birthdate, but it was a promising find which I shall believe in for now. Elias is said to have been a veteran of the war of 1812. He and Nancy spent their last days in Wood County, living near their married daughter, Laura Ireland, in the north of Ohio State.

Elias in turn was the son of one of two Newbury brothers (his gravestone says that his father was William Newberry, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, but some allege he was the son of William's brother Daniel), who immigrated to Ohio from NJ in the 1810s. In the 1850 Census Elias lives next door to a Smalwood Newbury, whose life and descendents has been well-researched. I'm inclined to think that Elias and Smallwood are brothers, albeit by different mothers. Their grandfather was a William Newbury of NJ, who died 28 Jun 1778 at the Battle of Monmouth under the command of General George Washington. The Newbury ancestors (as suggested by surnames and some records) came to New England from London and other parts of England.

Unfortunately about the women who married into the Newbury clan information is rather more limited. Nancy Henderson: b. VA (her gravestone?). She is said to be the daughter of James and Rebecca Henderson (no more info on them). One of the public trees on suggests that her ancestors were overwhelmingly Scottish and Anglo-Irish immigrants of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. There are other Crawford men who marry Henderson women, too (see Crawfords below). Other women marrying into the Crawford clan:

Sarah Raziner: (wife of William Jnr), b. ~1783 and died by about 1830.

Anna Havens (or Mary Anne Havens): marriage license, Monmouth NJ, dated 25 Apr 1748 to William Newbury Snr.


Many thanks to SB on who gave me pointers for identifying the parents of John Crawford (1819-1864). John's death (accidentally shot by a soldier on the same side) is described accurately in a The County of Highland by Klise and Hough, which story confirms our John as the son of Alexander Crawford b. 1790, who was in turn the son of another Alexander born 1767 PA. The Highland history describes (pgs. 274-275) quite colourful adventures and achievements that the family had travelling from PA and settling in Highland, OH. Most of the Crawfords were propserous, unlike our Priscilla and John. I'm excerpting some of the Highland history here:

The Crawford Family. — The name of Crawford is a memorable one in the annals of Ohio and especially identified with the history of Ross and Highland counties. The family ... is descended from a Pennsylvania family of Irish descent, of which two of the sons were captured by Indians about the year 1760, and were prisoners in Ohio until surrendered to General Bouquet at the famous treaty of 1764....

Alexander Crawford, a brother of the Indian captives ... was born in Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary war, and was the first of the family to gain a foothold in the Scioto valley. He married Anna Pigman and with her and four children left his native state in the fall of 1795, floated down the Ohio on a small flatboat to the mouth of the Scioto, and ascended that stream in a canoe to the vicinity of Chillicothe. He was a millwright and helped to build the floating mill famous in Chillicothe history, commonly supposed to have been the first mill of any kind upon the Scioto river. [moves around for a while]... In 1807, he built on the Highland county bank of Paint creek a grist-mill which became an important factor in the domestic life of the neighborhood. Here he lived and carried on his work until 1823, when he was drowned while attempting to cross the creek in a canoe. His children [were] as follows: Jesse, Alexander, Mary (Mrs. Nathan Thomas), Sarah (Mrs. James Greenfield), Elizabeth (Mrs. William Greenfield), Susan (Mrs. John McElwaine) and Elsie (Mrs. Joseph Estle) of Indiana.

Alexander Crawford, Jr., ... was associated with his father in the management of the mill and after the latter's death took charge and conducted the business alone for some years. In 1825, he sold the property to Mr. Barrett and removed to Plum run, a mile or more southwest of his former location, and there built a saw and grist mill which he conducted until 1850 when his sons assumed charge of the business. Alexander Crawford was a man of most excellent traits of character and very interesting as a companion on account of the experiences of his early life. He was a companion of the Indian boys, with whom he played and hunted, and he personally knew many of the warriors who became famous in history. Among his acquaintances were such celebrated characters as Logan and Tecumseh, and Captain John, a Shawanee chief who taught young Crawford how to hunt deer. He often went with his father to visit Waw-wil-a-way, the old chief who resided on Rattlesnake creek, and whose base murder by Wolff has been much reprehended by all the historians of the pioneer days. Mr. Crawford was present at Old Town (now Frankfort), Ross county, when the ceremonies establishing peace between the murderer and his victim's sons were celebrated, and often during his life spoke of the impressiveness of the scene which there ensued. Alexander Crawford, Jr., who was a fine millwright, erected many mills on various Ohio streams and was widely known as well as highly esteemed for his cheerful and sociable disposition. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Benoni Brown [and, supposedly, Catherine Lane], who came to Ross county from Virginia, and as a result of this union there were eight children. Jemima...Jackson...John ...Mary ...Catherine, Alexander, Jesse and Anna.

Monongahela River Valley (2) Monongahela River Valley, PA

Supposedly yet more colourful bits of Crawford history are to be found in The Tenmile Country and Its Pioneer Families (Upper Monongahela Valley, Pennsylvania) by Leckey, but I don't think the full text of that is to be found online.


~1758 Alexander Crawford Snr. born, PA. More about Crawford origins here.

bef. 1790, perhaps 1786 Alexander Crawford marries Anna Pigman, daughter of Jesse Pigman and Sarah Lucas, look for John Pigman and his Descendants by Kelleher et al. Quite extensive pedigrees have been worked out for the Lucas side, too, see below and resources at places like

1790 Alexander Crawford Jr. born Green Co. PA

1795 Crawford family immigrate from PA to Ohio.

bef. 1819 Alexander Crawford Jr. marries Elizabeth Brown, daughter of Benoni (b. MD?) and Catherine (b. VA?)

1819: John born 3 Mar, son of Alexander and Elizabeth
1820 Priscilla born 26 Aug, daughter of Elias Newbury and Nancy Henderson

1823 Death of Alexander Crawford Jr, attempting to cross a creek in canoe.

1839 Jun 26, Brown OH A Priscilla Newberry married a John Fink in OH (OH marriage registry). Has son James in 1840. There are many records of John Fink born in OH about the right time in later censuses, but I imagine he died rather than they divorced.

1843 Jul 1, Brown OH Priscilla Newberry married a John Crawford (OH marriage registry).

1850 Census 6 Sep Tate, Clermont OH
John Crawford 31, Labourer, born OH
Priscilla 29, born OH
James 10, born OH
Elizabeth 6, born OH
Sanford A. 1, born OH

Laura Alice Crawford 1860 IL - 1914 MN, death record below. She was born in Menard Co. Illinois (not Iowa which my dad had). Consistent Census records say she was born in IL, my dad had down Monard Co. Iowa (but there is no such place or a similar name county in Iowa).

Menard is the closest IL county to “Monard”.

1860 Aug 22nd Census Township 18 Range 5, Menard, Illinois all recorded as born in Canada unless otherwise noted, was a ditto carried on down the page from neighbours!
John Crawford 41 Farmer, land worth $125
Precilla Crawford 39
James Crawford 20 Farm Labourer Priscilla's son with John Fink
Sandford Crawford 11
Jessee Crawford 8
John Worth (I assume JW Crawford) age 2, b. IL Is Worth a family name?
Wm C Smith 24 b. OH Farm Labourer
Wm Done 21 b. Ireland Farm Labourer
Elizabeth Crawford age ~16 is gone, did she die or get married? Nobody named Elizabeth among the close neighbours. Gap from Jesse to JW suggests babies that died. Did James serve in CW, too many candidates to find just him.

15 May 1864 John Crawford, having enlisted to fight in the US Civil War, is accidentally shot and killed (according to my father's research). There are official records to confirm that a John Crawford, age 44, enlisted on 16 Jun 1863, to the Ohio Company A, Ohio 2nd Heavy Artillery Regiment, and "was mustered out" on 15 May 1864 at Fort McAllister, KY, having not survived the war, still as rank=Private.

1870 Census  12 July Marion Co. Polk Tship Iowa
P Crawford 55, Keeping House, born OH
Jesse G. Crawford 18, Day Labourer, born OH
S A Crawford 20, Day Labourer, born OH
JW Crawford 13, Day Labourer, born IL
LA Crawford 10, At home, born IL

1880 Census Clay Marion Iowa
P. Crawford 60, born Ohio, father born NJ, mother born VA
John Crawford 21, born IL, farmer, both parents born OH
Laura Crawford 19 born IL


5 Jan 1881 Knoxville Iowa Marriage by Justice of the Peace James Welch of Laura Alice Crawford and Joseph Renfrow (details from my dad's research). More about the Renfrows.

Priscilla lives with daughter Laura & son-in-law in her final days
1885 Census, Grove Shelby Iowa
Joseph Renfrow 26
Laurie Renfrow 24
Percilla Crawford 64
Minnie Renfrow 3
Lewis Renfrow 1

1898. Iowa Deaths and Burials, 1850-1990 registry:
Priscilla Crawford, "widower" born 1820 in OH, age 78, died 15 Jul 1898

1914 Sep 04 Death
Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota
L A Renfrow, age 53, born 1861, dad = John Crawford. Mother's name = Fink.

Famous Ancient Relatives... Maybe!

I am not in a position (?yet!) to verify how good these proposed lineages are. They are interesting and fun so I offer them up as possible truth or possible mere amusement.

One proposed ancestral lineage goes like this:
Sarah Lucas 1734 MD - ? marr. Jesse Pigman, parents of Anna Pigman
Elizabeth Evans (1695-1749 both Prince George MD) marr. Charles Lucas
Elizabeth Hall (1673-1743 MD) marr. Richard Evans
Elizabeth Wingfield (1635-1678) marr. Richard Hall
Priscilla Fleming () marr. 1618 to Humphrey Wingfield (1587-1621? 1628?)

The Wingfield clan were quite prominent politically (including as members of the English Parliament), and have deep roots in Norfolk and Suffolk. Our lineage might include Sir Humphrey of Brantham (Suffolk again). More about the Wingfields at It is also suggested that we descend from a Bishop of Norwich (Norfolk), Joseph Hall, 1574-1676. A Bishop of Norwich with impoverished farming descendants in Iowa, not what you'd expect! Joseph was Bishop of Norwich when the city's already ancient Cathedral was sacked and pillaged, so maybe the signs of degradation were already there....030 Norwich Historic Plaque (Green).

The Lucas and Letchworth families also have origins in Suffolk, UK. That isn't too surprising, many early Puritan colonists migrated as complete communities (pretty much a whole village emigrated together). Plus, when you heard that your neighbours or cousins had happily emigrated, you were more likely to want to do the same.


by Ava Fink on 28 January 2018
My husband is Ron Fink Jr. One of his Great Grandmothers was Priscilla Newberry, we come from James Henderson Fink's descendants. we would love to know more about the Newberry family and William Daniel Newberry Rev.War info.
by Jim Innis on 09 May 2011
I received copies of John Crawford's, and Joseph Renfrow's bibles from Franklin, and photos of Joseph and Laura Renfrow and family in Iowa, and in North Dakota, from Laura Petron, St. Cloud, MN.

Franklin's current address, via internet search, is available on request.

Laurena's address (most recent Christmas card from her... is available on request.

John and Priscilla had 8 children:

Nancy Elizabeth (27 Jan 1845-17 Feb 1860)

Alwilda P. (10 Feb 1847-28 Deb 1847)

Sanford A. (18 Nov 1848-after 16 Apr 1910)

Jesse Garrison (14 Apr 1851-after 14 Feb 1920)

Martha Ann (26 Jan 1854-31 Aug 1858)

Sarah Katharine (22 June 1856 -19 Aug 1856)

John Worth (20 Mar 1858 - 1880-1898?)

Laura Alice (4 Oct 1860 -14 Sept 1914)

Hope this helps.


by Jim Innis on 08 May 2011
Very nicely researched and reported. I suppose you're familiar with the John Crawford family bible pages owned by Franklin Renfrow, Emerado, ND, which clearly names Priscilla Newberry's parents as Elias and Nancy, and gives (partially readable) birthdates for them. Have you traced any descendants of Laura Alice Crawford's siblings?

I have 20 years of research on the whole Crawford family, including statement that the father of Alexander (b. ca. 1758) was John, and strong evidence Alex's mother was Mary, who obtained land in PA the same day Alex did.

by Julii on 09 May 2011
No, I was not aware of the Bible, that explains a lot about why my father was able to get such good quality info if that historical document exists. Is Franklin possible to contact directly, could you give me an email addy?

My dad is visiting today, actually (from San Diego) would be great to chat some more with you. I guess Franklin Renfrow is another descendent of Joseph Laura?

re Laura's siblings, I've tried but failed to find them. Do you think James (Fink) could have died in the Civil War?

Sandford (what is the origin of his name, do you know?)


John Worth (is Worth a family name?)

(were some children born between John & Laura?, big gap there)


is that all of them?

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